59 scores brighten damp day

But 11-un­der-par won’t count as a record, as course is changed due to wet weather 59s in 2013

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - IQBAL KHAN

THERE were two amaz­ing rounds of 59 – 11-un­der-par – dur­ing the sec­ond round of the weather-hit € 1 mil­lion Nel­son Man­dela Cham­pi­onship at Mt Edge­combe CC yes­ter­day.

It was the first time that rounds of 59 have been recorded on the Euro­pean Tour but if won’t go down as a record as there was plac­ing be­cause of the wet and soggy con­di­tion of the course.

There were broad smiles – and de­servedly so – from Spain’s Jorge Campillo and South Africa’s Colin Nel for dif­fer­ent rea­sons as this co-sanc­tioned Sun­shine and Euro­pean Tour event, cut down to 54holes, got un­der­way in earnest.

For Campillo it took him from a level-par 70 in the first round to 11-un­der-par and into the joint sec­ond spot with Eng­land’s Matthew Bald­win, who signed for an eight-un­der in the sec­ond round to go with his three-un­der-par 67 – which was recorded over two days be­cause of the rain de­lays.

The man lead­ing af­ter 28 holes is Eng­land’s Daniel Brooks, whose steady play in try­ing con­di­tions saw him fin­ish the back nine in three­un­der-33, and who started with a birdie on the first be­fore play was sus­pended for the day.

“It was a great day. We played other par 70s on tour, but you still have to shoot 59 and I’m pretty happy with the way I fin­ished. I was 10-un­der af­ter 14 holes and had two tough par-fours and a tough par-three com­ing in and I man­aged to par those holes and birdied No 8 so it was nice to fin­ish good. I was ner­vous, but I man­aged to fin­ish strong and I’m proud,” Campillo said.

“I was never close to 59 be­fore, but in the KLM Open I was eight- un­der with three holes to go on a par 70. Fin­ish­ing with three birdies would have put me on 59, but I fin- ished par, par, bo­gey. That helped me a lot to­day, be­cause fin­ish­ing good was im­por­tant.”

Nel, frus­trated with the long de­lays plus a poor first round of seven- over- par- 77 and seem­ingly head­ing for the exit door, turned in a mag­nif­i­cent per­for­mance to make the cut.

He pumped him­self up for what was a make- or- break round as he asked play­ing part­ner and res­i­dent pro Michael Hol­lick what the course record was – and Hol­lick told him that he would have to “go deep” to sur­vive the cut. And the pro who wears the colour­ful slacks did just that.

He had nine birdies and an ea­gle on his card – out in 29 and back in 30. That was an 18-shot swing for the 30-year-old Nel, who turned pro four years ago.

The beam­ing Mar­itzburg Golf Club pro, who ad­mit­ted to be­ing de­pressed as he was way down the Or­der of Merit, said: “It was an up and down day. First there was a de­lay, then I went back home to sleep for another two hours.

“When I came back I twitched my back and could hardly bend or even pick up my ball. I had some physio, af­ter De­cem­ber: Jorge Campillo, Colin Nel, Euro­pean Tour, Nel­son Man­dela Cham­pi­onship Septem­ber: Jim Furyk, PGA Tour, BMW Cham­pi­onship July: Rus­sell Knox, Web.com Tour, Al­bert­sons Boise Open July: Will Wilcox, Web.com Tour, Utah Cham­pi­onship which I said to the guys I’m go­ing out and we’ll see what hap­pens.

“The physio helped as it kept my swing in a more com­pact man­ner and – I must not lie – the put­ter re­ally got hot. I had only 22 putts, and that says it all.

“There were 11 on each nine. As a pro that’s what you dream of. I hit the ball good all day and my irons to the greens were also good. I was also a bit ner­vous com­ing down 16 and 17 – I made dou­ble at both holes the pre­vi­ous day.”

Another three South Africans de­lighted with their show­ing on the day were Oliver Bekker, who shot a 66; Bran­den Grace, who also signed for a four-un­der-par; and Dawie van der Walt was tied for third on 10-un­der for the tour­na­ment.

Jbe Kruger were grouped on seven-un­der and in joint eight place.

The cut line stands at one­un­der par at the mo­ment, and one of South Africa’s promis­ing pro­fes­sion­als, Ge­orge Coet­zee, is in dan­ger of miss­ing it.

He is one-over-par with five holes to play in his sec­ond round, which will re­sume at 6am to­day.

GALLO IM­AGES

WELL BE­LOW PAR: Jorge Campil­llo and Colin Nel both shot a 59 on the third day of the Nel­son Man­dela Cham­pi­onship at Mount Edge­combe Coun­try Club yes­ter­day. De­spite the ‘record’ scores, their feat won’t en­ter the books due to course changes brought about by bad weather.

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